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Recycling your Christmas Tree

By LEXIE O'CONNOR

UTICA, N.Y. (WKTV) - The Oneida Herkimer Solid Waste Authority is collecting Christmas trees to be reused and turned into compost. Residents can check with their local municipalities for collection times or drop their tree off at the recycling center on their own.

"We actually take them and grind them up, so that they're broken down into smaller pieces, and we actually lay them in long windrows," said Recycling Coordinator Jamie Tuttle. "And what happens is the materials in these windrows start breaking down."

Jamie Tuttle says with the recycling center's monitoring, they're able to compost the trees in about 3 -6 months turning christmas trees into a natural fertilizer residents can then buy.

"We monitor the compost based on aeration moving around, temperature, and also the moisture of the pile, and when all of those three things are where they're suppose to be that material will break down and we actually take the finished compost and sell that back to residents," said Tuttle.

The Oneida Herkimer Solid Waste Authority sells 45 pound bags of the compost for $2 each for residents to use in gardens or as a mulching agent.

The facility only collects real trees with all ornaments and tinsel removed. They do not collect wreaths to be composted due to their wire backing.

Residents are asked to call and check with their municipalities for collection schedules or come drop the tree off during business hours on their own.

The Oneida Herkimer Solid Waste Authority is located at 80 Leland Ave., Utica.

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